Kersten weighs in on noose brouhaha


In case you're just tuning in, a while back we brought you the story of a noose-hanging in a local college newsroom. Last week, the Strib picked it up. And now, swinging at what might be the best pitch to hit she's had in years, Katherine Kersten has smacked it out of the park.

Gabriel Keith, who wouldn't speak to City Pages, is easy to find in Katherine's story. He's actually the only person she seems to have bothered talking to. (She does do a commendable job lifting quotes from the Strib's story to line up others for target practice. As Katherine ably shows us, it's much more fun to shit on people when you don't have to actually talk to them.)

In the column, Katherine portrays Keith as a) a war hero who served three tours in Iraq, b) a friend to the black man, c) a hard-working, up-by-his-bootstraps editor trying to motivate his writers, and d) the victim of political correctness run amok.

What she fails to touch on, of course, is e): If we accept Keith's explanation at face value, he's comically ignorant. I'll borrow a quote from the Strib here, since he didn't want to be interviewed when I wrote my story: "I heard about something to do with a noose, but I didn't even think of it," Keith said. "I don't watch the news."

Now, Keith's service to country is to be commended. And the fact that he palled around with a black dude in Iraq is super. But as a newspaper editor who—best-case scenario, here—can’t be bothered to follow the news, is he really the guy you want to hitch your wagon to?

Given that Katherine's probably off already reporting her next one-source column, I'll answer for her: Of course he is. Because, really, what's the downside in obscuring a little ignorance compared with the irresistible opportunity to pit the immigrant-and-minority-worshipping-espresso-sipping-college-campus set against the truly-discriminated-against-war-hero white guy?

What I’m really trying to say is: You're welcome, Katherine, for the fodder for your latest lazy polemic. You owe me one.